Athletes’ Subjective Evaluations of the Implementation of Dual Career Measures

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Athletes face intrapersonal, interpersonal and structural constraints when pursuing high-performance sport and a professional career (education and vocation). The ‘EU Guidelines on Dual Career’ were developed to guide, structure, and foster the athlete’s dual careers in the European Union countries. Thus, this study investigates the effective implementation of favourable DC environments as subjectively perceived by athletes.
A qualitative research paradigm was used. Semi-structured interviews (n = 21) were used to gather information. The sample was composed of 12 male and nine female elite athletes from six different EU countries. The athletes pursued different sports and were in various stages of their athletic careers. A structured qualitative content analysis, including frequency analysis, was conducted.
Based on the athletes’ subjective evaluations, findings showed that athletes could still not manage a DC and balance their resources successfully. Thus, the EU Guidelines, as a measure for DC by the policies, were insufficiently implemented. Athletes claimed especially the need for organised governmental support. Also, the findings elaborated on the strengths and weaknesses of the existing EU Guidelines. It is the first international academic study assessing the EU Guidelines’ implementation of DC athletes in different countries. This research could help EU policymakers and national authorities implement the guidelines to facilitate favourable dual career environments effectively and improve their future employability.
Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Sport Policy and Politics
Volume14
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)111-129
Number of pages19
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

ID: 6394183

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